Algorithmic design, artificial intelligence and augmented reality: Francisco Gomez Paz, Francesca Lanzavecchia and Uchronia explain how their way of designing has changed

What does it mean to be inspired in the digital age? How have creative dynamics and processes changed with the advent of computerized software, artificial intelligence and augmented reality?

"I believe that we are already beyond the digital era", says Francisco Gomez Paz. "We are experiencing one of the most revolutionary moments in the history of humanity in terms of technology linked to creativity. With the advent of artificial intelligence, I am convinced that the world, and the profession of designer, have changed forever" .

“Everything in my production process is digital, from 3D rendering to rendering. The inspiration is also digital”, explains Francesca Lanzavecchia, "although in reality I am in a period of my life in which I try to escape from this digital bulimia and look at social media and online platforms as little as possible so as not to be submerged or get lost in the visual chaos and informative".

There are those who prefer manual know-how and the "old-school" approach to digital, like Uchronia, the French multidisciplinary collective led by Julien Sebban, which asks: "Where is the limit between intellectual creativity, which is unique and individual, and creation through the computer?".

Francisco Gomez Paz

"I believe that we are already beyond the digital era. We are experiencing one of the most revolutionary moments in the history of humanity in terms of technology linked to creativity. With the advent of artificial intelligence I am convinced that the world, and the profession of designer, have changed forever. The first time I saw an image generated with AI I understood that I was faced with an epochal change.

I believe that AI is a useful tool for those who do design, to manage the creative process, for example to create moodboards of ad hoc images for our needs, starting from our words and ideas.

Digital has accelerated creative and productive processes. In my laboratory in Salta, Argentina, I use new generation machinery, from laser cutting to numerically controlled robots and 3D printers.

Digital has become a great source of inspiration for me: technologies allow me to move from the idea to the physical prototype in real time, while in the past prototyping took months, and this acceleration generates a flow of interesting inspirations.

Lately we have also been experimenting with augmented reality viewers, thus we are able to "touch with our hands" and shape our ideas before even realizing them, to be even faster and more immediate in understanding scale objects and in their place of use, without the need to make prototypes, and this accelerates the creative loop even further. Models created in augmented reality can be printed, milled, I can come up with ideas at an astonishing pace."

Francesca Lanzavecchia

“Our working life takes place in the digital world, sometimes I almost forget I have a body. The drawings and sketches, which in the past I did in pencil, I now create more quickly with digital tools, such as tablets and graphics programs. Everything in my production process is digital, from 3D to rendering.

The inspiration is also digital, because we do a lot of online research, not only visual but also for technical and scientific information, even if in reality I am in a period of my life in which I try to escape from this < strong>digital bulimiaand look at social media and online platforms as little as possible so as not to be overwhelmed or get lost in the visual and informational chaos.

I prefer to seek inspiration by travelling, visiting exhibitions, seeing a film, reading a book, I am purchasing many volumes of various genres, on colour, painting, sculpture, perhaps to combat the hyper digitalisation in which we live . In the digital world we get our hands "dirty", using tools that accelerate productivity, but which do not replace creativity.

Often the spark of inspiration lights up while doing, during the creative process, for example when I put together color palettes and combine different materials.

We recently completed the Hermès shop windows around the world, like three-dimensional living paintings in which the drawings come to life: drawing the body of a creature and an interior with a distorted perspective is a technique of classical derivation, at the same time, however, the visual rendering of the shop windows winks at the digital and animation world, because we use graphics programs to draw.

It is a continuous dialogue between real and digital, but to eliminate this tech aura that digitally created projects bring with them, we work with skilled artisans and artists who create the scenography by hand with watercolors and fabrics. Digital is a tool that accelerates and facilitates processes, but the great satisfaction comes from the possibility of touching and returning to the physical.

I tried using artificial intelligence, but at the moment its hyper-realistic and imitative aesthetic rendering does not attract me. Artificial intelligence will be our right arm when we manage to educate it according to our tastes and will. I remain curious to understand the next futures, including augmented reality, but it is important that it does not remain only in the hands of technical figures, but that it is interpreted and humanized by multidisciplinary professionals".

Uchronia

“When we talk about the digital age, I immediately think of all the movement around artificial intelligence and chatbots which scares me a little. Where is the line between intellectual creativity, which is unique to each individual, and creation through computers? I'm still curious about the topic, because it's fascinating to imagine this kind of future.

We are quite old-school in the agency and for us digital as a source of inspiration remains in the background. We look more at films and music, for example for our Vice Versa office project, which is very spacey, we were inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Our bold aesthetic may seem like a nod to the world of social media, but our job isn't to create spaces to gain followers. It's true that our colorful universe is different from others on the web, but our inspirations are the sixties and seventies.

Digital hasn't changed the way we create and work much, because we are trying to take the opposite approach and assert our creativity through the intelligence of our hands.

We want to promote French know-how and to do so we must adopt it in our creative approach. At the agency we always work with sketches, drawings and models before starting with the more technical aspects of 2D and 3D software. This phase of manual exploration is very important for us, because it is when we develop our creativity."

Cover photo: Francisco Gomez Paz